The Louisiana Notary Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention was held October 26-28, 2018 in Natchitoches, LA. Twenty-one (21) different educational classes were offered to members, including sessions on Mandates, Mortgages, Intestate and Small Successions, Immovable Transfers, and Notarial Ethics. During the convention, the LNA held its annual awards ceremony where several members and board members were recognized for their contribution to the association over the last year. The election results for the 2019-2020 Board for Directors also were announced; the four (4) winners elected for the next two (2) year term were Samantha Bloemer, Clorissa Caillouet, Winnie Guillory, and Paula Vincent Johnson. The Board then selected its officers in a closed meeting. Those results for 2019 are as follows: Darryl LeJeune, President; Samantha Bloemer, Vice President; Theresa Martin, Secretary; and Brandi Miller, Treasurer.

It was announced that all classes offered at the 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention will be offered as online courses during 2019. Members who were unable to attend convention, or those members who were unable to take all the courses that interested them in Natchitoches, will have the opportunity to attend all sessions throughout the year. A schedule of 2019 online classes is forthcoming. It also was announced that Notary2Notary will return on March 1, 2019 as an online discussion forum on the LNA’s website. The return of Notary2Notary has been very much anticipated by membership. Finally, the LNA unveiled its new logo on site in Nachitoches. The new logo and use policy will be available on the LNA’s website in the coming weeks.

During the Saturday luncheon, the top five (5) candidates for the office of Louisiana Secretary of State appeared to speak to attendees. Those attending were current Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin; state representative from the Baton Rouge area, Rick Edmonds; state representative from the New Orleans area, Julie Stokes; businessman and former state senator, A.G. Crowe; and former first Assistant Secretary of State and current Assistant Attorney General, Renée Fontenot Free.

Each candidate was given ten (10) minutes to address the group. All spoke on topics of great interest to notaries, namely remote online notary, legislative attempts to create a limited-authority “second-class” notary, and continuing education requirements for notaries. The candidates also discussed the importance of fighting hackers seeking to influence Louisiana elections and making the Secretary of State’s office as business-friendly as possible for constituents. The primary election will be held this coming Tuesday, November 6, 2018. The LNA considers it critical that notaries get out and vote. The Secretary of State’s office plays a vital role for notaries. Turnout for the election is not expected to be very high, and the thousands of non-attorney notaries in the state could be influential in determining the election’s outcome. The LNA encourages its members to make voting in this election a priority on Tuesday.